Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wine Braised Italian Sausages with Penne

When I asked my daughter what she wanted for dinner for her 8th birthday, this is the recipe she wanted.  Of course friends laughed but hey, she loves pasta!!

1 1/2 lbs. mild Italian sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 small carrot, minced
6 sprigs parsley, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 fresh sage leaves, torn
generous pinch ground cloves
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 lb. pasta (penne, fusilli or ziti) cooked al dente and drained
1 1/2 cups fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Asiago cheese

1.  In a 12" saute pan over medium heat, slowly cook the sausage in the olive oil until it's well browned. Remove the sausage from the pan, add the onion, carrot, and parsley to the pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute over medium heat until golden.

2.  Add the sausages, garlic, sage, cloves and tomato paste, along with 1/2 cup of the wine.  Simmer while you scrape up all the brown glaze from the bottom of the pan.  Once the wine is evaporated, add the rest of it and cook very slowly, about 10 minutes.  Sauce will be clinging to the sausage.  **At this point, you could refrigerate the sauce for up to three days.**  Add the tomatoes and cook at a slow bubble for 5 minutes.

3.  Toss in the pasta to thoroughly coat.  Blend in half the cheese.  Serve hot, passing the cheese separately.  Makes 4-6 servings as a main dish.

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